Encyclopedia of Feminist Literature

By Kathy J. Whitson | Go to book overview

that though the story centers on male figures, the novel is ultimately about female authorship, as demonstrated by the “story of a man who usurps the female role by physically giving birth to a child” (248). Susan Wolfson notes that “Elizabeth has no function that is not directed toward her male companions” (55), and Paula Feldman wonders if the tale isn't a metaphor for Mary Shelley's own conflicted views about motherhood (75). Doubtless, Frankenstein will provide rich discussions for feminists for some time to come.


References and Suggested Readings
Feldman, Paula R. “Probing the Psychological Mystery of Frankenstein.Approaches to Teaching Shelley's Frankenstein. Ed. Stephen C. Behrendt. New York: MLA, 1990.
Johnson, Barbara. “My Monster/My Self.” Frankenstein. By Mary Shelley. Ed. J. Paul Hunter. New York: Norton, 1996. 241-51.
Ray, Anne-Marie. “Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley.” An Encyclopedia of British Women Writers. Ed. Paul Schlueter and June Schlueter. Revised and Expanded ed. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1998.
Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. Ed. J. Paul Hunter. New York: Norton, 1996.
———. “Introduction to Frankenstein, Third Edition (1831).” Frankenstein. Ed. J. Paul Hunter. New York: Norton, 1996.
Wolfson, Susan J. “Feminist Inquiry and Frankenstein.” Approaches to Teaching Shelley's Frankenstein. Ed. Stephen C. Behrendt. New York: MLA, 1990.

See also Wollstonecraft, Mary.

SILENCE AND VOICE

In its most general sense, voice can be defined as the reward for successfully battling oppressive systems that enforce silence, or it may represent the very means by which the battle was fought. White women, for example, often argue that to attain voice, they must free themselves from the constraints of patriarchy, and many have done so through the written word. As feminism has become more self-conscious in its ethnocentrism, however, women of color have complicated this definition by pointing out that no single woman's voice exists—and that minority women have often been silenced by the very movements credited with giving them voice. As a result, the binaries of silence and voice become ever more problematic, and women find that these terms apply both inside and outside of feminism. In other words, as Lugones and Spelman explain, “the concept of the woman's voice is itself a theoretical concept, in the sense that it presupposes a theory according to which our identities as human beings are actually compound identities, a kind of fusion or confusion of our otherwise separate identities as women or men, as Black or brown or white, etc.”

Thumbnail sketches of women's progress point readers to the most overt ways in which women have won at least partial battles against the forces that would silence them: the right to vote, the right to own property, the right to earn equal wages; and, more generally, women's expanded control over marriage, education, and reproduction. These issues dismiss imbalances of power within the category

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Encyclopedia of Feminist Literature
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page ii
  • Contents v
  • List of Entries vii
  • Introduction ix
  • A 1
  • References and Suggested Readings 3
  • References and Suggested Readings 7
  • References and Suggested Readings 13
  • References and Suggested Readings 17
  • References and Suggested Readings 20
  • References and Suggested Readings 24
  • B 33
  • References and Suggested Readings 35
  • References and Suggested Readings 44
  • References and Suggested Readings 48
  • C 56
  • D 72
  • References and Suggested Readings 78
  • E 80
  • F 82
  • References and Suggested Readings 91
  • References and Suggested Readings 95
  • G 96
  • References and Suggested Readings 105
  • H 106
  • References and Suggested Readings 116
  • References and Suggested Readings 123
  • I 124
  • J 125
  • K 132
  • L 140
  • References and Suggested Readings 144
  • References and Suggested Readings 146
  • M 150
  • References and Suggested Readings 176
  • N 177
  • References and Suggested Readings 186
  • O 187
  • P 193
  • References and Suggested Readings 201
  • References and Suggested Readings 205
  • R 206
  • References and Suggested Readings 207
  • References and Suggested Readings 212
  • S 213
  • References and Suggested Readings 220
  • References and Suggested Readings 221
  • References and Suggested Readings 226
  • References and Suggested Readings 232
  • References and Suggested Readings 243
  • Y 244
  • References and Suggested Readings 249
  • References and Suggested Readings 250
  • W 251
  • References and Suggested Readings 256
  • References and Suggested Readings 284
  • Y 285
  • Index 293
  • About the Author 301
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